• Brock Briggs

Learning from Jack Butcher - 2

The second "building principle" Jack uses in his tweet thread is the following:

"Service is high touch result generation (building experience), product is low touch result generation (scaling experience)."

I've read this probably 25 times and still am having trouble dissecting what the message is.

I'm going to define a few terms, or at least what I think the definitions are, and piece them all together into something understandable.

The base of this sentence is comparing products and services. A product could be something physical or digital. The essence of a product is something purchased that doesn't involve other entities. Perhaps there is someone selling you the product at the counter but generally, the process of purchasing a product is something that just revolves around you, the purchaser.

Service is the opposite. It's also something physical or digital but is something that involves another party. A haircut is a service. Online consultations with another human being is a service. You are receiving something that is directly (possibly indirectly) provided by someone else.

Jack takes these two, products and services, and describes them both as result generation. Result generation is an odd phrase - the implications are vague. Result is something that happens because of something else and generation is the act of it being produced or created. His description implies that products and services both create outcomes - that makes sense because you buy a product or service because you're looking to have a problem solved or you're looking for an "outcome".

A distinction Jack drives home between services and products is the amount of "touch" used in each. Obviously a service requires more touch because by the very nature of what a service is, taking something from another person, requires more impact points or opportunities for the person offering the service to impact the customer experience. Because of the interaction required in a service, you naturally create an experience by being involved with the customer in the process - this doesn't happen in a product, at least yet.

Jack is someone who has a high interest in customer experience because he knows that is what drives engagement and repeat interactions. An outside perspective of what he does would give the impression he is product focused but I think the point of this building principle is that both product and service are important. If you can introduce a service element into a product, you not only sell products that can scale in size but you also can create an experience with that product. It is this experience that builds community and brings people together. His work with Visualize Value is a direct representation of that - that community is growing and revolves around this very concept.

The importance of community around products and services is becoming of increasing popularity. Community is what makes network effects so powerful and I think Jack is working to harness that power. I believe in it and I look forward to continuing to contribute to growing that community.

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